Forensic Psychiatry

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Forensic Psychiatry and Behavioral Science is a subset of psychiatry where there is an interaction between the two sciences and the law, though this is a somewhat restriction definition. Forensic psychiatrists also work to aid the mentally ill in navigating three major institutions: mental health, justice, and correctional. This subfield focuses on objective psychological evaluations, where adolescents, adults, and the elderly may be referred to determine any psychiatric, neurologic, and developmental disorders that could potentially conflict these individuals. These evaluations also determine the type and severity of any present disorders. Forensic psychiatrists are able to provide various types of evaluations for legal purposes, such as identify …show more content…
Forensic psychiatric evaluations thoroughly assess the medical, psychiatric, academic, and occupational records of the individual in question and often include interviews with relevant contacts to fully gain an understand of the mental health of said individual. The areas of specialization for psychiatric disorders range from mood swings and chronic pain to dementia and sexual harassment, covering a wide variety of possible conditions for a more comprehensive evaluation. Additionally, this field works to develop mental health legislation, as well as deal with issues arising in penal, criminal, and civil law cases. In cases involving mentally ill perpetrators, the nature of the crime and the severity of their illness could be used to declare them “not guilty by reason of insanity” or “not criminally responsible because of a mental condition” unless further treatment deems them fit for …show more content…
Though most evaluations are comprehensive assessments of an individual 's mental state, these tests can often leave out important environmental or personal factors, including race, sex, and age, among others. Forensic psychiatrists must adhere to strict ethical rules as well, including confidentiality, honesty, and objectivity when applying their data to investigations, legal criteria, or when expressing their opinions. To overcome some of these obstacles, forensic psychiatrists should undergo rigorous training in confidentiality and objectivity so as not to let their personal opinions or “gut feelings” interfere with the strict science behind their evaluations. Thorough research should be conducted into innovative technologies and strategies that could overcome the inaccuracy of tests such as the polygraph and BEOS. Hypnosis could also be a possible avenue for suspects willing to undergo this; this, however, presents more problems in itself as to how ethical this strategy would be. The institutionalization of those deemed mentally ill are in dire need of addressing considering the vast majority of the mentally ill population are placed in psychiatric ghettos or decrepit tenements in the inner city. This placement could lead to further crime, which would require further testing medication. The living spaces of these individuals

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